Monday, June 30, 2008

A short story doesn't have to be long...

You know, I got demoralized recently in a writing class. My classmates were all writing the same sort of ambitious, pat, naturalistic text. I felt like a fix out of water with waaay too much oxygen in my gills.

So, I've been looking for some reassurance in the pages of my favorite authors. I've been looking for new forms and interesting perspectives. Perspectives not set in the Victorian Age or some ill-defined "future." I've been looking for my characters again cause they got lost in the criticism.

Wouldn't you know I got to reading a collection of shorts by Neil Gaiman and in breezing along his words I came upon the shortest short story. Then it hit me, a short story doesn't have to be long and a novel doesn't have to answer everyone's questions. Better still, it's a shitload better with a lot of questions left in there. I've been all worked up about "do people understand" when MY readers don't have problems understanding. They want the world and it's my responsibility to create it.

While I'm at it, I have to satisfy myself because I'm my first reader. This is not to say I'm going to go jumping, both feet and super enthused, into classes. I don't like other writers that much. I've met one in three classes whom I enjoy and he's busier than I am with his day job. Great guy, though.

Instead, I'm going to keep on with what I'm doing. Mainly researching escort services and learning about that industry because it intrigues me. I am content to be easier with myself and less inclined to listen to others. They had their chance to impress me with what they had to say about my writing and it didn't work out so hot.

Hooray for art!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


You Don’t Have Rights...

So, now I'm watching a documentary on Roman Polanski, who drugged and raped a 13 year old girl forever ago. Uhm. Idiot. He saw some ass and he wanted it. So he used what he had to take it.

It's the way of the world, is it not? Those who can take, absolutely do so. And they pray on the inexperienced and the naive and those who are unable to take care of themselves. Or who have no protection.

There is a song from the late 60s that I like and one of the first lines in the song goes something like this "who's your daddy, is he rich like me? did he explain to you, the way things have to be?" It's not at all subtle, if your daddy can't stand up to me then i can do exactly what I want to you. Of course it's directed towards a girl.

I work in an industry that is a holdout of male domination. The subset of the industry I work in is the most competitive part and is almost exclusively male. Sometimes I want to slip them all Estrogen mickies and get them to shut up. Instead, I dress in a way that provides distraction. A knee-high skirt instead of a calf-length skirt. A pencil skirt instead of a A-line. It's easier that way. If I dress to distract, then there is no shocking me when they get completely out of line. Instead, I'm ready. Comments that would ordinarily embarass? Yeah, I take them in stride because I'm ready to insult. I pay attention to every look, every mood and dare them to break form.

And they do break form at every possible opportunity. Not to say I'm not professional, because I am. This is to say I simply anticipate what is going to happen, I even take for granted that it's going to happen. There was a time when (poor naive me) I believed hypereducated, uberprofessional people would be too busy to go chasing ass day in and day out. Yeah, bully on me for that one. They take their education and ability for granted leaving them countless hours in the day to screw, pursue screwing and generally make a fucking mess of their personal lives, which in turn fuels a lively gossip and litigation industry.

Such is the life I live. An enterprising escort service owner would get some ladies (and guys) with solid clerical skills and put them in offices. Found money, I swear.

Friday, June 27, 2008

That’s mighty white of you boys!

That’s mighty white of you boys!
For the love of God.

I had to have security take a man AND HIS CHILDREN out of my office today. No shit. I am not pulling your (collective) leg(s). This cat has been coming by the office daily and harassing the staff to track down the boss. For no discernible reason. Apparently he used to come by on social calls and peddle the occasional art piece. I may have one hanging in my house, as a matter of fact, it's not a favorite, I'm just holding it for someone.

So, my receptionist comes to me and tells me he's shown up, then relates how he came by every day last week. The kicker is, he's brought his family with him. Huh? So I ask here if he's for an appointment, is one of the kids sick? I'm all prepared to make sure the child sees a doctor. No problem.

But, yes problem. The kids aren't sick. I ask my boss if he wants to see this cat and he's like "I'm busy. He needs to make an appointment. I've told him this for years." Memo to readers (and self) if you tell someone something and they ignore you, stop dealing with them immediately. Just stop. That'll learn 'em.

So, i step out and speak to the guy. I tell him he needs an appointment. I offer him a date and time. In short order he calls me a two-faced, double-barrel liar and refuses to leave the office. Being logical and really not giving a flying fuck, I declare "Well, since you refuse to accept that you need an appointment, I have nothing else to discuss with you," turn and walk toward the backoffice door. Before I know what is happening he is nearly on top of me growling and gesticulating wildly. Color me surprised.

He's going on and on - and he has to because his accent is thick and it takes me a while to catch what he's saying - about how I have disrespected him in front of his children and he's a provider for his family and I've disrespected him. So, I look around him into the faces of his kids. They are mortified. Ashamed. I feel for them. Parents are embarrassing by breathing, but this is beyond. I apologize to the kids and offer a smile. This sets him off anew, how DARE I address his children, I'm insulting, I'm blah blah blah yaddda bing bang. I extract myself from the situation by saying "I have heard you now. Thank you." Then I lock the door behind me.

I ream my boss. He's bewildered. He doesn't do well with confrontation. I don't do well with nearly being assaulted. I tell him I plan to call security and he looks blank, grabs another chart and darts into an exam room. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary. If I call security will he consider it overstepping my bounds? If I don't, am I leaving my staff and patients in an unnecessarily vulnerable position? So, I mull this over and wait for the seething rage to subside a little, just so I can think clearly.

Seething rage can take a while, so I call for advice. Then based on the advice, I call security. They arrive and tell the guy he needs to leave after I explain he's been sitting in our office for over an hour and has been asked to leave. He refuses. He laughs at them and mocks them as rent-a-cops. They waste no time calling the Police Department. My god, why do things have to get this far? With the announcement that the police have been called, he finds it prudent to leave the office, children trailing after him (4 of them, maybe five). He tries standing outside the office in the hallway and is escorted away, out of the building entirely.

Upon his departure the mood in the office changes entirely from one of controlled stress into laughter. Amazing. The staff starts telling me about the guy, how well he used to dress, how he used to even smell good. They think he may have been just successful enough to get into trouble - drugs, gambling the usual vices. Now he's desperate and not a little unhinged. Bad news.

But here's my point: He was willing to humiliate his children, use them as cheap and tawdry pawns for some unknown end and then he screamed that I was disrespectful of him as a father. You have got to be fucking kidding me. I thought about this a lot while ruminating and waiting for the rage to subside. I wanted to find something redeeming in his behavior, something that supported him wanting to present himself as a father worthy of praise. I thought about all the times I accompanied my parents to work, I really stretched to say that if the family was on hard times, or he didn't trust his kids to be home, or if the family was homeless...but I couldn't make it happen for myself. I could not justify his behavior and I certainly tried.

Feel free to share you many and varied perspectives. Or just share a lugh.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This type-A of mine...

This type-A of mine...
I'm gonna let it shine! Let it shine, let it shine, let it shiiiiiiinnnnne.

Yeah. I'm back. Had a whirly-girl day. Ended up sobbing in the car out of sheer frustration and (more than likely) seriously lowered blood sugar. But a lot of frustration. I'm a results girl, I don't do so well with dithering. I'm not all that particular about the result being perceived as good or bad cause if I don't like a result I can always - *gasp* - make another decision and get out of a situation.

The visigoth, on the other hand, wants the universe to show a clear path on every decision is content as all outdoors to w.a.i.t for that dove with the olive branch, or the yellow brick road, or Shiva to appear with all his arms pointing the way. Shit's crucial. And deeply disturbing.

So, then, this evening I had to have a reckoning with myself. I had to further accept that the visigoth's behavior is unacceptable to me on many levels. And I've run out patience for my first line of defense, which was to agree with him and support him in his glacially-paced decision-making process. Phase One is dead in the water.

Phase two means risking more and feeling better in general. I'm going to start decorating my new office, if I have to take my ish back home then so be it, but at least I can get moving on doing something. It's not even impatience as much as it's total lack of understanding and an emptied basket full of empathy for the indecisive.

Note to the world: I can't stand indecision. For real. I'm the friend who will tell the waiter to wait an extra 10 minutes before approaching the table, then COACH my meal-mate through deciding on something. I find out my companion's likes and dislikes, then I cut out everything on the menu that they won't like, narrow the field to 3 items, propose them (one is always an outlier, one is always something I plan to get, and the other is what I think they will order based on history/conversation). I talk them through the menu. They whole time I'm casually sipping my wine or water or whatever. I'm smiling, I'm relaxed. I'm a pro.

I'm not totally unfamiliar with indecision. I feel conflicted a fair amount and need to mull things over and get settled with them. I just tend to do these things well in advance of a decision being necessary. Failing to make a decision is a decision in itself and leaves one vulnerable to the desires of others. That sucks.

You know, I was going through this with the visigoth last month, too. Then it was whether to chunk a business associate. He malingered for - ah - 4 good months. IF he could do that now, he'd be happy. It's actually quite funny because after I've done all manner of behind-the-scenes manipulations (yes, I said it, I'm a fucking Scorpio and I manipulate situations!) and much brow-beating, he had the temerity to tell me how good he was at making decisions. My. Ass.

So, hahaha, laughs all around. Mr. Can't Make a Decision lauds himself on not making a decision and having one made for him. Claim it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Choose your Religion...

Choose your Religion...
...based on holidays.

If I find a religion with every day as a holiday, I'l convert immediately. A colleague recently asked me about my religion. That's always a simple answer that prompts more questions.

MY answer goes something like this: I was raised in a black southern baptist household. I was a practicing Buddhist in college, mostly agnostic in high school and now I have one prayer that's really effective and it's "HELP" - add in exclamation, question mark or period. Whatever. It always works.

Just "help." You know, you stand up and drop a quart or two of blood - Help. You've run out of money and can't see a way to keep yourself going - Help. Surrender is a damn good thing. Active surrender, if you will, cause you don't pray help and then get busy waiting for help. You say help and you keep on going, certain the help is coming. It always comes.

I watched Three Kings today with Ice Cube, George Clooney and Markie Mark Wahlberg. It was a really good movie. Touching and human, you don't see a whole chunk of that out of the film industry. I also watched Independence Day. Errr. I cried through half of it, I have no idea why. I bought new shoes and they are *technically* revenge shoes. Or at least I have revenge in my heart and satisfaction in my soul when I put them on. It's complicated, but the I'm going to enjoy making people suffer while I prance about in my new shoes.

The other day I was talking about my staff with a few people and it's firing time again. I have one staff person I've asked to get speech assistance - ad nauseaum. I've even arranged a retired English professor to help her. She won't make the move, but she's actively campaigning for a raise. Hrmmmmmm. Another girl requires weekly counseling just to keep her from making basic, stupid mistakes. Weekly. And she's been on the job for 8 months. It's not fucking rocket science. It's not brain surgery. Perhaps she's understimulated. But she's also a pathological liar. She can't help herself, so she's pathological and compulsive. Bless her heart. She's a little disaster.

I went to the library today and stocked up as well. I got a free copy of Seabiscuit, it's already entrancing and I'm so happy to have such a wonderful book to read. I bought a copy of The New Yorker, I like the cartoons. I stumbled out of the library with a bag of about 12 books. The librarian told me she was watching me teeter around with books stacked from my thighs to my chin. I did not ask her why she didn't ask if I needed help, I'm sure I looked funny and I wouldn't have offered me help either. I just couldn't help myself - there is so much good stuff out there to read! Woooo-hooo!

Okay, enough of my drivel...Read a book!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rearranging again...

So, i was thinking last night that my whole life has more than a soundtrack, it's just musical. Sometimes the music doesn't work out so well, and I can always tell when I'm going in the wrong direction because I stop discovering new sounds.

Right now I'm hopeful and optimistic and I feel as though I could fix the world. At least until I got bored with fixing the world, then I'd leave it half-done and move on to the next adventure. I know me quite well.

My favorite albums of the moment are Adele's 19 and N.E.R.D.'s Seeing Sounds. Both albums allow my mind to wander down interesting paths. I think a lot of things I've done and things I want to do. Adele is more "things I've done" and N.E.R.D is more "things I want to do."

Hey! There is an ad for Sirius radio as the banner on the myspace page! Fawkin' A! I want satellite radio. I can't decide, actually, it seems like fun but whenever I have a rental car or I'm jackin' around with my friends' satellite radio I think I'd rather have a serious iPod hookup in my car. Top that I am (heh, heh, heh).

So, there is this lyric:

sitting on the sea,
soaking up the sun,
he is a real lover,
making up the past and
feeling up his girl like hes never felt her figure before

*This one tends to punch me in the stomach. Which is interesting because, well, who wants to get punched in the stomach AND to compound the oddness of the feeling, it's the first lyric on the first song of the album. WTF. It always makes me think of every single suave lover I've ever had. The ones with deep emotional disturbances and hooded eyes. Those lovers who make promises in barely-audible whispers and look genuinely surprised when I hit the road in lieu of turning a blind eye to other girls/guys whatever. Or, worse, when I decided good for the goose is good for the gander and didn't bother to lie when asked what I'd been up to.

Okay, and another lyric (in the same vein, but from different song)

Why is it everytime I think I've tried my hardest
It turns out it ain't enough cause you're still not mentioning love
What am I supposed to do to make you want me properly?
I'm taking these chances and getting nowhere
And though I'm trying my hardest you back to her
And I think that I know things may never change
I'm still hoping one day I might hear you say

I make you feel a way you've never felt before
And I'm all you need and that you never want more
Then you'd say all of the right things without a clue
But you'd save the best for last
Like I'm the one for you

*Yeah, this one is a real specific memory. I was soooo crazy about this blue-eyed Brit, it was unexpected and instantaneous. I had to have it. So I go jumping of the cliff of lust and I'm having a fabulous time, but at the oddest times the ex-girlfriend would get mentioned. Like, upon waking in bed together. Or on my birthday (just after the ex's). Then there was the whole "well, you can't be a good person cause you two share the same star sign." Officially, as a Scorpio, I do not need to be held responsible for someone else's shit cause I am perfectly capable of stirring up my own. VERY capable. But, hey, most of the relationship was great. Amazing and exciting. Then there was the mildly devastating announcement that "they" were talking about getting back together. This, I knew, was hogwash. Me and the ex-girlfriend had people in common, I knew who and what she was doing and what she would not be doing (that relationship again). So, I had to walk away. I wished I could hear "I don't want her, I want you" but instead I knew those words weren't for me.

I was not the one.

Well, those are my ruminations for the night. Comments are always welcome...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father’s Day

Erm. Is it just me or does Myspace not have a tag for Family? I'm just wondering because most of the people I know spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with family on one level or another (or mulitple at the same time, take your pick).

Yeah, that's me and my Dad and my older brother in the photo. Ah, fathers! I have two official fathers and several adoptive fathers. I'm very popular with parents, apparently I strike people as needing guidance often and much. They aren't wrong most of the time. As my sister told me recently, I'm highly dysfunctional on my own. I think it continually surprises my family that I am able to make it through the day without getting disemboweled, going broke or getting arrested.

Quietly, it kind of surprises me as well. I know that my ability to stand on my own two feet - even after being disemboweled twice in one year - is significantly attributable to my fathers. They are very different, yet oddly similar. Their best qualities are the same, their worst qualities are not dissimilar. They are both assholes about a lot of things. But they are generous and loving and fiercely protective and encouraging of their offspring. You gotta love that. The asshole thing is excellent preparation for the real world.

Plus, they were both in the military, albeit different branches. Is anyone else out there convinced their father is a nutjob? I suppose having children makes you incredibly strange. For a man it must be a humbling experience, to always have an emotional exposure men are not socialized or born to acknowledge. It's what makes the involvement of my fathers so much more special. They turned that vulnerabilty and terrible love into people who struggle to live in this world and somehow succeed despite formidable odds.

What a gift. I have magnificent fathers. I hope you can find something fantastic about your father(s) as well. I wish them well and thank my fathers for giving me life and teaching me how to live it.

Pater familias and all that!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Best for Last

Best for Last
Saturday night...and I'm finally home. Sorry I've been offline all week, something was flukey with the home wifi, I suppose I should be trifling and put a password on the network and stop sharing with the neighbors. It hurts my heart to do it, though, because I love to pirate anything and everything. Oh well, life keeps on moving.

Today me, KymE, and Caddy went to the movies then we launched ourselves on a galaxy quest for a store my hairdresser told me sold skinny jeans on the cheap with lots of spandex or lycra sewn in. Perfect for curvy girls. About an hour after we set out we finally found the place. We passed the city jail in all it's terrible glory and were regaled with a tale from KymE about having to bail a friend out the weekend previous (a 12-hour ordeal). Turns out she actually knew the place we were going. We spent a good chunk of our time recovering from the journey in a nearby IHOP and discussing the dearth of cheap shit in the downtown area where it would be convenient for us. We spoke with relish of street vendors and people with teh back of the truck open in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. I declared that I wouldn't mind moving back to New York and was committed to making my next permanent residence in a Parisian Arrondisment.

I did get those skinny jeans, btw, 30 bucks and some fly new aviator glasses for 5 bucks. Factor in the gas and I'm up to about 80 bucks, but still at a savings.

You know what's funny? In driving down to the ranch my mind wandered off the minutae of wirk and onto dreams for myself. I've been feeling a whole lot like Samantha in the SATC movie: I say someone else's name 50 times a day and hardly ever say my own. Every move I make is in representing someone else - who I'm much savvier than and it's not a secret at all. The old adage about success being a "we" and failure being an "I" is in full effect. I don't mind so much that bit, but I chafe at always looking out for someone else's interest, working at their behest blah blah blah.

Anywho, I know I want and need to go back to school. So I figure I'll apply to programs that interest me and see what comes up as viable. Preferably online classes, but I do enjoy the stimulation of being in a classroom. Except usually the other student are really slow and mildly stupid. That's frustrating. Perhaps I should extend myself and give a go at attending a really good school, instead of just going someplace close by. Perhaps I should create some ripples in my life - again.

It's attractive and boring all at the same time. We shall see.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Dexter is the Shit

Holy Crapzilla Batman! Dexter is the shit. I tried to watch it a while ago, but it was too bloody and I was too sensitive. Now, though, it's my new Ugly Betty. Speaking of which, I haven't watched Betty in half past forever. I've missed the entire current season. He loves to eat, he has a moral compass, he's carefully controlled in all that he does.

I love the dramz. Cops all wrapped up in the mix, being human and flawed and terrible. It's a wonderful show and I'm only five episodes in!

It's so, so hot in my house right now. The A/C went out sometime while I was out of town. So, I come home and I notice hot air blowing this way and that, look at the thermostat and it's 90 degrees inside, 104 outside. No win. I've gone classic with it, chillin' at the movie theater enjoying film and cool breezes. Monday the A/C should be fixed, but for the time being it's no-movement and lots of ice cold water and cold baths. I love cold baths.

Well, Dexter is on and I have to pay attention.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Grown men crying

Grown men crying
Well, he's gone and done it. He quietly, consistently plowed forward and got every single delegate point he needed to become:

the Democratic Candidate for President.

In the same generation that ended Apartheid in South Africa, in the same lifetime as those who suffered under Jim Crow and the most virulent segregation policies imagination, Barack Obama has carefully constructed a career that has brought him one step closer to the Presidency of the United States.

Don't hate. Appreciate.

I've gotten emails from so many people in the past hour. Grown men are crying at their desks at work because they dreamed of being president once upon a time. They are crying because they have endured insult, struggle and idiocy to ascend to where they are and they see themselves reflected in the accomplishment of this young, dapper, father of two who has broken the idea that a man of color is always relegated to someone's else's footstool.

Take a moment, let's enjoy this.

Camille with the ponytail and a brand new last name...

Sunday, June 01, 2008

I’ve never been to Neverland Ranch

I’ve never been to Neverland Ranch
Stop laughing! I'm serious. I've never been to Neverland Ranch and that was one of my life's ambitions.

I never saw Phyllis Hyman perform live and then she hauled off and killed herself.

There are a quite a few other things I've never done. I never did master Fortran, but it doesn't seem like much of a loss. I've doctored a script for a movie, but never acted in one. I never performed on the Great White Way, though that's a move that may happen sometime in the future. Never too old.

Let me tell you what I did do, recently too: I drove on the interstate singing along with a song I really dig. This is quite major for me - I've not driven in a year and I couldn't sing for nearly as long (I also could not laugh other than to say "ha-ha-ha" in a very dry manner).

The 40-year-old Virgin is always funny. It's Sunday and I'm thankful for my new accomplishments. If you see someone tottling down the street, singing happily and occasionally clapping spontaneously - that's me, and I'm happy, very very happy.